This month we’re busting a myth related to international travel and seat class. This common misconception is a vestige of policies past.
MYTH: If a flight’s duration lasts over 6/8 hours, it can be booked in business class.
FACT: A flight’s duration does not determine whether a business class flight is allowable. University Travel Policy states that business class airfare may be allowable for international flights outside of North America. This can raise questions when your flight contains multiple legs that are within the United States.
Let’s look at an example.
An employee traveler is flying to Munich Germany by way of Atlanta Airport (ATL) out of Indianapolis Airport (IND).
The Atlanta to Munich and Munich to Atlanta flights are eligible for business class. If the airfare was booked all at once on an online booking tool like Egencia, it is likely that all flight legs, including those between IND and ATL, would be upgraded to business class with the selection. With departmental approval and a comment logged on the expense report documenting this, this is allowable per IU travel policy.
Best practice for documenting these purchases is to include a comment in your Trip Authorization explaining your intent to purchase business class airfare. Then, during expense reporting, add any additional justification or substantiation as needed.